Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #7744  by squire758
 Thu Aug 03, 2006 4:06 pm
ive been playing guitar for awhile now and im really starting to get into piano music. id like to start learning more about how to play piano considering i have two mediocre keyboards and a Hammond B-3 console organ (which sounds just like Ray Manzerek-The Doors). anyway, i have a bunch of begginer piano books and such and i was wondering if there is any way i can get around the boring babysteps of fledgling musicianship as i did with guitar. surely, there must be some unconventional methods of learning piano as there are for 90% of the guitar players out there. any help would be appreciated.
p.s. all of the music theory i have learned and applied to guitar i originally learned on piano which my instructor insisted. so i already have the knowledge of scales, building chords and all that stuff, but when i actually play, it sounds like pure shit so please help if you can

 #7746  by ded1hed
 Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:15 pm
i play a bit of piano, although not like i would like. i simply learned chords for the piano, based on notes from guitar chords i already knew. if your trying to get around reading sheet music, like me. then i would suggest just learning chords on the piano and playing around with them. while i cant play as good as i would like, i am beginning to be able to piece togetther certain songs i already knew for guitar. as with anything just practice and trust your ears to lead you in the right direction.

 #7748  by Benthegoodbum
 Thu Aug 03, 2006 6:49 pm
I very recently started to fool around with my friends keyboard which I am in possession of right now. I just sit around and figure out chords and play with the different sounds it has to offer. It is quite a delight to make "music" with something besides my guitar. I have a friend who has been playing piano since he was 4 years old and he says he doesn't know much about theory but I think he knows it but he can't speak it. He's a great pianist though.

 #8311  by mttourpro
 Fri Aug 25, 2006 9:55 am
I've been playing piano/keys for almost 30 years and play in some GD cover bands, ect....I think the comments above are on target for the most part....sounds like maybe you need to get your fingers to cooperate--ie be able to increase dexterity of playing chords correctly without hitting notes you don't want? Tis a matter of practice/repition just like with guitar. You will want to use a chord book as far as making sure you're using the best fingerings so as not to make life more difficult than need be.

For most rock/GD tunes it can be very helpful to take Dom7 chords and break them up in thirds with the proper fingerings as well as learn to be clean when playing simple blues riffs ala Mr Charlie, When the Music's Over, ect....just get them to be really clean, then start to get the blues scales "under your fingers"----unfortunately, I cannot say there are "shortcuts" other than practicing. Also, it's smart to learn to "bounce between 1 and 4 chords in all keys, as that's a fairly common comping practice that will help a lot with almost any GD-rock song.

Also, it can be very helpful to practice all arpeggios ie straight Major/Min, Maj/Min 7, Dom 7 and Diminsihed and Augmented. Try to learn them with both hands over 1,2 and 4 octaves---do them separately, then together, then with contrary motion.

If you already know scales and some theory it's mostly a matter of getting your digits to cooperate. Hope that might be helpful and Good Luck.

 #8316  by squire758
 Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:42 am
dude that actually is very helpful thanks alot. i have actuially been practicing I-IV-V to try to get my fingers to get used to moving more than a third considering the I doesn't really go to the III anyway. i will definately take the drill of one hand, other hand, contrary. i like your thinkin

 #8317  by mttourpro
 Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:54 am
No problem---glad to help.

Also, you might want to focus on learning all your major chords, then minors, then 7th, ect in the different positions ie root, 3rd, fifth then, third, fifth, root and then fifth, root, third....they are known in theory as
"straight", 6-3 and 6-4 (because of the distance between intervals). So, in C Major, you'd play CEG, then EGC then GCE.

And of course, after you master all of that,you can do the same thing but add in Maj/Min 7ths and all those different voicings......rememeber to have fun.

And of course, practice, practice, practice....

 #8322  by phreaker
 Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:39 pm
I played piano from ages 6-11. Didnt learn a god damn thing.

now that I know how musical instruments should be taught, I can blame it on my teachers. If they did show up, they would reek of pot, and never want to do much.

that was IF they would show up.

 #8393  by mttourpro
 Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:12 am
If they did show up, they would reek of pot, and never want to do much.

that was IF they would show up.

Well I hope they at least offered you some too!!

 #8400  by tigerstrat
 Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:19 pm
If your Hammond B-3 sounds like Ray Manzarek from the Doors... then something must be seriously wrong with.

 #8405  by nedcat
 Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:22 pm
I use a Keyboard Chord Finder (KCF1 made by AKAI) that I bought from Musician's Friend Catalog. Its pretty cool.....displays between 3 and 6 formations per chord in LCD> Uses 2 watch batteries (included) and is the size of a credit card and 1/2 inch thick. They make one for guitar too! Cost was around $20.
I was suprised how much I wound up using the little
gizmo. My friends bought them after they saw mine.
They fit on a keychain and make great "stocking-stuffers"